The year is fast coming to a close, and the marijuana industry is still riding the tide of all the changes that 2018 brought. From the widespread legalization of marijuana to the release of different marijuana-infused products, isn’t it any wonder that so many marijuana enthusiasts around the world are celebrating? Let’s kick off our 2018 round-up with a few significant facts:
2018 Facts and Figures
- Cannabis has two major species, namely sativa, and indica.
- Marijuana (commonly used for smoking) and hemp (scientifically known as sativa L., cultivated for industrial purposes) are two varieties of the cannabis plant.
- There are 779 strains that we know of. With various budtenders cross-breeding one strain with another, it is reasonable to assume that there are more than 779 varieties you can sample and enjoy.
- Because of hybridization practices, breeders have developed various rare and exotic strains that are highly sought after for their unique flavors, aromas, and appearances, as well as the one-of-a-kind sensations they give.
- Statista’s latest report on the number of medicinal marijuana patients shows that there are millions of patients benefiting from this plant’s properties. In May 2018, California had the highest number of users with 915,845 patients followed by Michigan with 269,553 patients.
- There was an anticipated increase in product sales in 2018 from USD 2.9 billion to USD 3.8 billion.
Recent Developments in Cannabis Legalization
With a little more insight into the successes of the industry, you might be curious as to what brought on these advancements. The answer is simple: it is slowly but surely being accepted and legalized in many places. Just this October 2018, Canada followed in the footsteps of Uruguay and legalized the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana nationwide. There are various laws in every province or territory, but this sure is a welcome change in the country. These laws cover various aspects of marijuana possession, distribution, and price.
Following the mid-term elections in November 2018, medical marijuana is now legal in 33 US states and Washington, DC. Of the 33 states, 9 (including Washington, DC) permit the use of cannabis for recreational purposes. CBD, with low THC content, is permitted for medicinal use in 14 states. So far, only three states, namely Idaho, South Dakota, and Kansas, maintain a complete ban on cannabis and cannabinoids. Meanwhile, American lawmakers have reached an agreement on the Farm Bill which will legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity.
In light of these developments, it is important to mention that the Canadian company, Canopy Growth Corporation, was able to make its first legal transfer of cannabis products. In fact, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) gave them an import permit, allowing them to get these marijuana products to a research partner in the US. Canopy Growth Corporation is a leader when it comes to maximizing what the plant has to offer.
These developments in legalization are huge wins for the cannabis industry not only because of the projected increase in sales but more importantly the benefits of this plant becoming more accessible.
Latest News in Research and Development
The legalization of marijuana has led to some important developments in the area of R&D in 2018. Here are some of the highlights:
While it cannot be denied that there is a degree of social acceptance when it comes to the possession and use of cannabis, the fact remains that the authorities still maintain that, on a federal level, it is illegal. Of course, rules such as driving under the influence still apply to all users. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working on ways to measure the THC and CBD levels in a driver, the same way alcohol breathalyzers work.
While they can successfully detect the presence of THC and CBD levels on the breath; they do face other challenges like the rapid rate at which cannabinoids leave the bloodstream.
It Lowers Opioid Use
In April 2018, it was discovered that government-approved medicinal marijuana could dramatically reduce opioid use. This is good news considering the number of people who are addicted to, abusing and overdosing on opiates such as morphine and fentanyl.
Cannabis Products that Emerged in 2018
In the 60s and 70s, there was only one way to consume marijuana: by smoking it. Now there are a wide variety of cannabis strains you can experiment with and nothing to stop you from exploring what this herb can do. Some of the latest products that have emerged this year include:
• Edibles and Drinkables
What better way to ingest this wonder herb than to mix it with delicious treats and satisfying drinks? With the growing popularity of homemade baked goods, businesses took the opportunity to sell high-quality marijuana-infused products. Kiva is one of the leading manufacturers and sellers of these goodies. From fruity gummies and fresh mints to delectable chocolate bars and even non-chocolate confection, you can try out these mouth-watering sweets that offer a unique kick.
If you are craving a good drink, just head to your local dispensary, and you are sure to find cannabis drinkables. Looking to soothe your senses? You might want to try one of Kikoko’s teas. Their herbal drinks are mixed with a helping of this wonder plant. The great thing is you can choose a variety that can help improve your sleep, lift your mood, relieve your pains, and enhance your sex life.
Those in need of their morning coffee fix should check out marijuana coffee from Pot-o-Coffee. There is a wide selection of blends that offer various experiences for your taste buds. Enjoy a full-bodied brew for your morning cup or get one with caramel and vanilla tones for a more tasty helping.
• Body and CBD Beauty Care
Perhaps one of the most innovative ways cannabis is being ingested in 2018 is through body and beauty care products. With CBD being hyped as a highly medicinal compound, more and more people are adding it to their beauty regiment. From marijuana-laced soap bars and shampoos to CBD-rich ointments and balms, you can use these products to treat dandruff, acne, and even psoriasis.
Clean your pores using The CBD Skincare Co.’s CBD-Infused Exfoliating Cleanser and rid your face of dirt and grime and prevent blackheads. If ‘bags under the eyes’ is your problem, you might want to try CBD for Life’s eye serum. With seed oil and hyaluronic acid, you can go about your day without worrying about the bags under your eyes.
2018 saw many body and beauty care companies focusing on using cannabis as a way to improve their products so keep your eyes peeled for those.
• CBD Vape Pens
The infamy surrounding cigarettes was matched only by the rise of CBD Vape Pens as an alternative. Even without the marijuana content, these devices are gaining ground because vaping offers a healthier means of ingesting nicotine and even non-nicotine juices. With the introduction of cannabis, vaping has become a more exciting experience. You can choose from a variety of juices with varied amounts of CBD and THC content.
What’s exciting about this new way of consuming cannabinoids is that you get to pick flavors that suit your taste. Whether you like fruity notes or savory ones, you can get an e-juice that can satisfy your taste buds. This way, you can easily get your cannabinoid fix in a fun and tasty way, while perfectly blending in with the vaping crowd.
• ‘Luxury Pot’
This herb is becoming more and more mainstream as the years go by. With its impending mainstream popularity, various brands have emerged to provide a ‘luxury’ version of this miracle plant. Defonce Chocolatier offers artisanal chocolate bars infused with dried buds in a wide range of flavors. These 20-dollar candies come in matcha, coffee, and mint flavors. You can also check out the selections from Beboe. Dubbed ‘The Hermes of Marijuana,’ their items come in luxe packaging with an equally sleek appearance. Try out their stylish vape pens or take some of their pastilles to get your quick fix of this herb.
• Dog Treats
Who would have thought you could feed cannabis products to your dogs? With recent developments, you can now share the benefits of this herb with your animal companion. Giving your dog these treats can address problems such as inflammation, mood issues, skin conditions, and muscle spasms. Keep in mind that these items are mixed with a lower dosage of cannabinoids to make it more compatible with a dog’s body. Moreover, make sure that you only give a controlled amount to your pet.
Cannabis is indeed a wonder plant but what’s more wonderful is the continuous developments the industry has enjoyed in 2018 — new products, legal progress, and even new strains have made this year one for the books for the marijuana industry and enthusiasts. With greater support for this miracle herb, we can certainly look forward to another year full of good news and weedy goodness.
Cannabis and Weight Loss – What You Need to Know
If we were to review the classic portrayal of marijuana users, it can be extracted that most of them are presented to be way thinner than the general population. In fact, it cannot be denied that using cannabis has long been associated with weight loss.
With this in mind, it is not surprising that many are wondering whether CBD, the compound found in cannabis that is currently conquering the modern market, promises the same result. Does it lead to weight loss, or does it contribute to weight gain?
If you’re one among the many who are curious whether CBD could drive you towards your body goals, here is a brief summary of the latest discoveries about the relationship of CBD with body weight.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the many chemical compounds found in marijuana and hemp. Unlike THC, another compound found in the cannabis plant known to be its principal psychoactive constituent, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that consuming it won’t get you the feeling of “high” associated with marijuana usage.
What Propelled the CBD Craze?
While CBD and THC share almost similar medical benefits, it is the former that is currently making waves in the global market given its non-psychoactive feature. This enables consumers to experience and enjoy the medical promises linked to cannabis without ending up in a “high” state that is usually accompanied by a high level of euphoria, slower perception of time, elevated heart rate, dehydration, or even mild visual and auditory hallucinations.
How Do You Use CBD?
Given the high demand for CBD in the global market, manufacturers have developed many possible ways on how to use the compound. Generally, there are 4 common ways to enjoy CBD. These include:
By Vaping or Smoking
Similar to tobacco users, cannabis enthusiasts can consume CBD either by rolling a fine cannabis flower into a joint or using a vaporizer that has a cartridge containing CBD oil. Whatever the case, vaping or smoking CBD promises the quickest effects among all other options. This is because both practices allow the CBD to go directly into your bloodstream, making it quicker for the compound to reach your brain and deliver its calming effects.
However, between the two, vaping CBD is commonly preferred over smoking cannabis. This is because the latter involve setting the joint on fire and inhaling everything that’s burning, which contains carcinogens that can cause respiratory irritation. Moreover, since vaping CBD oil doesn’t include the cannabis plant itself, the vapor produced comprises mostly cannabinoids, resulting to quicker and stronger effects.
- Through Edibles
If you’re not a fan of vaping or smoking, you can still consume CBD and experience its therapeutic effects by turning to CBD-infused edibles. To date, there now comes a range of CBD edibles available in the market, including gummies, chocolates, brownies, to many more.
However, as opposed to vaping and smoking, taking CBD through edibles will require up to two hours for the effects to kick in. This is because eating CBD will lead the compound directly into your liver and digestive tract, resulting in the product to be partially broken down.
Generally, only about 20 to 30 per cent of CBD can be absorbed when you consume it orally through edibles.
Via sublingual products
Another option you might want to try is to experience the wonders of CBD via sublingual products. Generally, these could take on the form of tinctures, sprays, oils, or lozenges.
In this method, the user applies a few drops of the solution under the tongue and wait for the product to be absorbed.
Similar to vaping and smoking CBD, sublingually consuming cannabidiol promises users with faster results.
While some prefer to consume CBD, some also want to simply apply the compound directly to the skin. Since cannabidiol is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, many tend to turn to the compound as a natural remedy for joint or muscle pain.
To date, many CBD topicals are now available for purchase, including CBD-infused lotions, balms, creams, salves, and transdermal patches.
Since the product won’t enter the bloodstream, using topicals doesn’t promise stronger therapeutic effects to users. However, it does offer relief from pain caused by inflammation of joints or muscles.
Marijuana and Weight Loss: How Are They Linked?
For years, the connection between marijuana usage and weight loss has been a hot topic in medical science. To date, while information about the subject remains to be inadequate, available studies have somewhat established a few important notes about it.
In 2011, for instance, a group of researchers has reviewed two representative epidemiologic surveys from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and the National Comorbidity Survey–Replication to evaluate the prevalence of obesity as a function of cannabis use. Basing on the results of the survey, which involved adults aged 18 years or older, the researchers had concluded that rates of obesity were higher among people who were not using marijuana over those who had consumed the compound at least 3 days a week.
The results mirror an earlier study conducted in 2010, which aimed to examine the association between cannabis use and overweight/obesity in young adults by observing the frequency of cannabis use and body mass index (BMI) of 2566 young adults. In the said study, researchers were able to conclude that there is lower prevalence of overweight and obesity among young adults who use cannabis compared to those who don’t.
The authors, however, noted that “further research is needed to examine the mechanism of this association.”
CBD and Weight Loss: Weighing the Possible Connection
To date, as CBD continues its rise in popularity, many are concerned as to how it could affect a person’s body weight. Since there is still little research about the correlation of marijuana with body loss, information about CBD’s effect on body weight remain to be lacking as well.
However, since research on CBD’s effect on the body continues to expand, some experts have a few theories on how CBD interacts with the body and result in weight loss. Among these theories include:
It promotes ‘browning’ of fat cells
In 2016, a study conducted by researchers from the Department of Biotechnology at Daegu University found that CBD has the ability to turn white fat (increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, etc.) into brown fat (can burn calories).
According to the study, CBD offers three major effects on fat stores in the body. These include stimulating genes and proteins involved in enhancing the breakdown of fat, increasing the number of mitochondria that results in improved ability to burn energy in the body, and minimizing the production of specific proteins involved in forming new fat cells in the body.
These discoveries had led the researchers to conclude CBD’s potential as a possible agent in the treatment of obesity.
It enhances metabolism
In a study involving animals conducted in 2008, researchers found that CBD has a role to play in enhancing the body’s metabolism. According to researchers, this happens when CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors residing in the brain and the digestive tract. By stimulating the said receptors, which assist in metabolising the compounds absorbed from food during the digestion process, CBD helps boost the body’s metabolism, therefore promoting weight loss.
It reduces appetite
While THC is known to stimulate one’s appetite, CBD is believed to do the opposite. In a 2018 study, researchers found that although CB1 receptors help activate one’s hunger pangs, its antagonist receptors help in blocking it.
Since CBD has the ability to stimulate other molecules, including those that are considered to be CB1 receptor agonists, researchers believe that this could help prevent people from experiencing frequent hunger pangs that may lead to overeating.
The Bottom Line
To date, as CBD continues to emerge as a multi-billion industry, many are wondering what possible perks and advantages can still be extracted from the compound. Sure, while there remain to be tons of unanswered questions engulfing the product, various preliminary studies that lay down CBD’s medical and therapeutic promises open a world of possibilities.
Be sure to talk to your doctor to know more about the possible effects of CBD usage.
Gov’t Holds First Cannabis Hearing, Talks Policy Changes
Last Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held the first-ever cannabis hearing called ‘Cannabis Policies for the New Decade.’ The hearing was held at the John D. Dingell Room at the 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.
Present at the policy hearing were 35 bipartisan representatives from different government sectors. These include representatives and witnesses from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Cannabis Hearing – What Was Tackled
Those present at the meeting tackled existing marijuana policies, its effects of marijuana on health, and the possible steps Congress should take to further research in the field.
According to Forbes, the government division came together to talk about and delve deeper into the current federal cannabis policies in place. This includes implications that may arise from putting marijuana in another category and exploring the possibility of cannabis research.
At the core of the discussion is the confusion between the legalization landscape, primarily because 11 states have already legalization the sale of marijuana, while 22 other states observe their own medical marijuana. This greatly clashes with the substance remaining illegal on a federal level.
In a statement, Republican Representative from Oregon, Greg Walden, said that “The states are way ahead of where we are federally.”
Apart from tackling legalization concerns, the group reportedly touched based on marijuana being tagged as Schedule 1 substance and classified as having no medical use, yet there remains a lack of research on what the drug can provide.
To testify, DEA Senior Policy Advisor Matthew J. Strait from the Diversion Control Division, said, “Much like our partners at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department and the DEA fully support research into the effects of marijuana and the potential medical utility of its chemical constituents.”
To support the DEA’s claim, the Deputy Director for Regulatory Programs and Research of the FDA Douglas Throckmorton shared that the “FDA has an important role to play in supporting scientific research into the medical uses of cannabis and its constituents in scientifically valid investigations as part of the Agency’s drug review and approval process.”
Throckmorton continued, saying “As a part of this role, FDA supports those in the medical research community who intend to study cannabis by: 1. Providing information on the process needed to conduct clinical research using cannabis. 2. Providing information on the specific requirements needed to develop a human drug that is derived from a plant such as cannabis.”
The meeting lasted for 3 and a half hours, however, the representatives have yet to make a decision nor cast their votes. Proceedings are available for viewing on the House Committee on Energy & Commerce website.
Thailand North Opens its First Cannabis Clinic
As the Ganja Festival 2020 is approaching, a second full cannabis clinic in Thailand just recently inaugurated in Chiang Mai last January 15, 2020. The cannabis clinic is located at the Nakornping Hospital at the Mae Rim district in Chiang Mai.
Following Thailand’s legalization of medical marijuana in 2017, the country is now highlighting varying cannabis-based treatments and medications.
Located in Thailand’s northern province, the healthcare center is expected to provide treatments for a wide range of diseases, including Parkinson’s. Methods that will be administered in the said center will focus on both traditional and modern approaches using cannabis.
Cancer and Alzheimer’s will also be treated via the use of cannabis, notes the ASEAN Economist.
Meanwhile, individuals suffering from body pains, neurosis-derived tremors, paralysis, insomnia, and migraine are also urged to seek treatment. Per the report released by the Bangkok Post, 22 people have enlisted as patients upon the clinic’s opening. Patients that have registered include those suffering from insomnia, paralysis, as well as those suffering from cancer and needing palliative care, notes Coconuts.
In a statement, Anutin Charnvirakul, the public health minister said, “At least five groups of illnesses can be cured, or relieved, by marijuana extracts.”
The healthcare center will have 125 medical staff in total. Of this number, 39 are doctors while four are traditional Thai medicine practitioners.
Charnvirakul continues to say that the Chiang Mai clinic “will be one of the 37 under the fourth phase of cannabis-based medical service expansion” in the country. The Chiang Mai clinic is reportedly the second one that has been opened in the country, with another stand-alone clinic having opened a week earlier in Nonthaburi.
More Cannabis Clinics to Open in Thailand
The ASEAN Economist reveals that 77 clinics are slated to be opened in total, one for each province of Thailand. Meanwhile, around clinics and health centers that have been operating in 2018 since the country changes its law to allow the production and consumption of medical marijuana.
Upon opening the first marijuana clinic in Bangkok, Dr. Prasert Mongkolsiri, director of the public hospital said, “Marijuana could be an answer. At least the patients’ quality of life is improved.”
The initiative is supported by the Public Health Ministry, whose cannabis supplies come from Kasetsart University. The university supplies approximately 2.2 tons of cannabis to the Public Health Ministry in partnership with Natakorn Thasnas, Kasetsart University’s cannabis research director.
The clinic is only open from 1 in the afternoon until 4:30 on Wednesdays.
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